(Rotterdam, 1989) writes prose, plays and non-fiction. Her chapbook De benen van Petrovski (Petrovski's Legs), a literary account of her trip to the Ukraine, where her grandmother comes from and a large part of her family still lives, was published in 2016. It's a story about seeing and taking chances, about generational cohorts and their uncertain future, about a country in which Weeda is unsure whether she should feel at home. Her debut novel Aleksandra was published in 2021. In it, her grandmother is the hub of the story. She sends main character Lisa to the Donbas to search for her uncle Kolja. The novel, grimly topical due to the war in Ukraine, encompasses in a maelstrom of dreams and nightmares both the history of a country and a family. Aleksandra is on the shortlist for the Bronzen Uil (Bronze Owl), the Flemish award for the best Dutch language debut. Weeda graduated from ArtEZ Creative Writing in 2015. She creates the literary program Mooie Woorden (Beautiful Words) in Utrecht, teaches at institutes like ArtEZ and the Rockacademie, and has published work in De Revisor, Tirade, Das Magazin, De Titaan and De Optimist.(2022)
Archive available for: Lisa Weeda
More than a year after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, we took stock with authors Stanislav Aseyev (Ukraine), Tanja Maljartschuk (Austria), Sasha Marianna Salzmann (Germany) and Aleksandr Skorobogatov (Belgium). Journalists Franka Hummels and Simone Peek talked to them about the role of writing and poetry in times of war. Virtuoso accordionist Oleg Lysenko played some musical contributions.
Writer Lisa Weeda, compiler of the programme, opened Literary Focus: Ukraine from 19:30 in the foyer of Theater aan het Spui with a conversation with journalists Floris Akkerman and Geert Jan Hahn. Based on books about Ukraine, they talked about their impressions. Hahn reports for Dutch media on Eastern Europe. Among other things, Akkerman is editor-in-chief and reporter at NRC on the war in Ukraine. They have been presenting BNR Perestrojkast, their podcast on current topics from Eastern and Central Europe, since 2019.
The programme continued in Zaal 1 with a first performance by accordionist Oleg Lysenko playing two movements from Victor Vlasov's suite Five Views on Gulag State. In collaboration with writers' organisation PEN Netherlands, an empty chair was visible on stage symbolising journalists who cannot speak out or publish because they have been imprisoned.
Franka Hummels then spoke with writers Sasha Marianna Salzmann and Aleksandr Skorobogatov, both of whom also read from their work. Simone Peek talked to writers Tanja Malyartschuk and Stanislav Aseyev. Malyartschuk also recited from her work. Aseyev requested Nina Targan Mouravi, who translated his book The Torture Camp on Paradise Street from Russian into Dutch,to recite an excerpt from it.
Accordionist Oleg Lysenko then performed two more movements from Vlasov's suite. The programme will conclude with the short film Monument for murdered writers and journalists 2022, a project by Theatre of Wrong Decisions, Committee To Project Journalists and writers' organisation PEN International.
How do you report on an invasion that is not yet over? What can fiction and poetry mean for a nation whose sovereignty is threatened?
Long a blind spot in our Western European minds, Ukraine is now in the full spotlight. At lightning speed, we learn all kinds of things about the country. What do authors who have known, described or travelled the area all their lives actually say about Ukraine? What does literature and poetry add to the story about Ukraine and the surrounding countries?
Bookstore De Vries van Stockum was present in the lobby with a stand offering books by participating authors of this programme, among others including signing opportunities!
Literary Focus: Ukraine was developed by writer Lisa Weeda, who wrote a portrait of her Ukrainian family in her debut novel Aleksandra.
Day ticket: also visit the afternoon programme The World According to Cusk featuring Rachel Cusk!
Literary Focus: Ukraine was preceded Sunday 12 March from 14:30 hours in Theater aan het Spui by the, also English spoken, festival programme The World According to Cusk (with top author Rachel Cusk).
A reduced price day ticket for both festival programmes on 12 March was available.
Summer 2022 two beautiful and strong debut novels were published: Julia Armfield's Our Wives Under the Sea ('the year's most terrifying love story' says AnOther Mag) and Nikki Dekker's diepdiepblauw. Both books describe mysterious sea creatures and the complexities of queer relationships between young women. diepdiepblauw is shortlisted for the Bronzen Uil (Bronze Owl) 2022 for best Dutch-language debut.
Writers Unlimited brought together these two talented young authors with a fascination for oceans and queerness! Lisa Weeda interviewed them in Writers Series on Thursday evening 24 November 2022 in Zaal 3, The Hague about, among other things, the attraction of the sea and about writing lesbian or bisexual love stories.
Where does these young authors' interest in marine life come from, and why do they express this fascination in a wonderful combination of narrative fiction, nature book and essay?
Writer and radio producer Nikki Dekker (1989) released her debut novel diepdiepblauw (Deep Deep Blue) in Summer 2022, a powerful debut novel about identity, shell collecting, growing up and bisexual infatuation, interspersed with fiction and facts about life underwater. In Dutch weekly news magazine De Groene Amsterdammer, when asked what the most enjoyable moment was while writing her novel, she replied: 'For the chapter on dolphins, I watched the documentary The Dolphin House. In it, Margaret Howe tries to teach dolphins to talk with their blowhole. You see her sitting at the edge of the pool, wearing black lipstick so that her own mouth looks like a blowhole, shouting words at that dolphin. That's just absurd.'
British author Julia Armfield (1990) published in 2022 her debut novel Our Wives Under the Sea. In the book, a deep-sea explorer gets stuck in a submarine at the bottom of the sea for longer than planned and returns "changed" to her wife.
The book has been all over Booktok, TikTok and Instagram for a while now, surprising (especially young) readers with its plot and genre: 'queer horror' and 'gothic' are terms that often come up.
Last year, Lisa Weeda, author and literary programme maker, published her debut novel Aleksandra, an impressive family story set in her grandmother's motherland, Ukraine. Aleksandra and diepdiepblauw are both shortlisted for the 2022 Bronzen Uil Award. In 2018, she was moderator of the Winternachten festival conversations with writers Nino Haratischwili and Alain Mabanckou.
The Bronzen Uil Award 2022, the prize for the best Dutch-language Debut will be handed out 10 December 2022.
This Writers Series programme is in English.
Book sale and signing in the foyer of Zaal 3: De Vries Van Stockum Boeken
Programme curated by: Joëlle Koorneef (Writers Unlimited).
Writers Series: Julia Armfield and Nikki Dekker in conversation with Lisa Weeda
Thursday 24 November 2022, 20:30-22:00 hours
Zaal 3, De Constant Rebecqueplein 20A, Den Haag
Postponed due to measures against the coronavirus. We are exploring the possibility of presenting the program online or at a later point in time. We will inform you by our newsletter and social media.
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The Georgian-Ukrainian Connection: talking about family, roots and defining moments in history with the Hamburg-based Georgian writer Nino Haratischwili and Dutch-Ukrainian writer Lisa Weeda. Haratischwili had her breakthrough in 2014 with The Eight Life, in her latest novel The Cat and the General, she writes about the Chechen wars. In 2016 Petrovsky's Legs by Lisa Weeda was released, the literary reflection of two trips she made to and through Ukraine. Last year Weeda directed the VR production ROZSYPNE about the war zone in Ukraine. English spoken.
Moderator: Sophie Derkzen
Program curated by Ilonka Reintjens (Writers Unlimited)
Books for sale courtesy of De Vries Van Stockum Books
A unique opportunity to meet two international literary stars and hear about their books, which have recently become available in the Netherlands. Lisa Weeda, writer and professor at ArtEZ School for the Arts, goes one on one for a half hour each with Nino Haratischwili (Germany/Georgia) and Alain Mabanckou (Republic of Congo) about their motivation to write, the source of their characters, and the worldwide success of their books.
Haratischwili had an international breakthrough in 2014 with The Eighth Life (for Brilka). In this award-winning, 1300-page epic, the Hamburg-based Georgian writer tells the story of the fictitious Georgian Jasji family.
The lastest book by Congolese novelist Mabanckou is Petit Piment, translated into English in 2017 with the title Black Moses. It humorously describes the life of a boy who escapes the strict regime of an orphanage to move to the coastal city of Pointe-Noire, where he lives among thieves and whores.